Saturday, February 21, 2009

False Freedom and Hamster Wheels

Canadians seem to be one of the freer peoples of the world. Indeed, a great number of people give their lives trying to achieve our level of freedom and I completely admit that I would not happily exchange levels of freedom with most of these people. Yet I maintain the position that those who make it to Canada, or the US, or other "free and democratic" countries, or who achieve our type of freedoms, may achieve a higher standard of living, but they have not reached a truly free and democratic state.

It may well be that (true and responsible) freedom and democracy are actually mutually exclusive since democracy basically means that 51%, or more, of the population dictate over the rest. It seems to me that this is a fairly unstable system as it is so susceptible to subversion by the wealthy and to a chaotic political structure.

As recently as two generations ago, Canada and the US were indeed fairly free lands. Plenty of space, resources and capital allowed this to be the case. Both movement across the land and settlement were encouraged and yet as the space began to be filled, resources were no longer free for the claiming, and capital dwindled to eventually be replaced by overly leveraged speculation and digital information, so the freedom became a false freedom.

So what is false freedom? I suggest that false freedom is a life where 8-20 hours a day are out of one's control for 60 or so years. It is a life dominated by consumer based advertising. It is a society where individual responsibility is traded for an ever enlarging book of rules which all (except the most wealthy) must follow. It is a society where security is equated with constant monitoring and regulation. It is a world where so-called free peoples are reduced to hamsters expected to run in their hamster wheels which exist to power the global economy and where the choices of those peoples are reduced primarily to the materially consumeristic.

I am sorry for the pain of innocents, but the truth is that the coming massive contraction in humanity is probably necessary since once again we seem to have missed the point.

The lighter note today? I remain, perhaps in delusion, sure that there is hope. The economic depression means that some people will once again have more time and necessity to think. We have achieved a level of technological understanding that, if properly inspired, could develop products which could help us develop a truly free and responsible society...perhaps for the first time ever. Our world has a miraculous capability for healing, if only we give it the chance to breathe.

Taking a moment to breathe and think would be a good idea in general.

Peace and comfort to all


linda said...

Well know, I was forced into a simple life just because I became a mother. I refused to buy into the superwoman thing. I was a mom. I could only do one thing at a time but I would do it well.
I used to gripe about it (one income, less money, etc) but after a while, it became freedom to me and I don't aim on going back. You get used to not having the things you don't need. Other things replace themselves in your heart and soul, simple things and habits.Once that happens, the rest seems vulgar.
I hope people do learn this lesson, it is frightening on the way to it, but worth it once you arrive.

SoapBoxTech said...

Thank you for the personal comment, Linda. It reminds me of the Solviva lady's story.

Thank goodness for mom's like that (including you).